Jarvis Cocker’s “Running the World” Could Be a UK Christmas #1 Single in Response to Election | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jarvis Cocker’s “Running the World” Could Be a UK Christmas #1 Single in Response to Election

Might 2006 Protest Song Hit #1 Because of Boris Johnson?

Dec 17, 2019 JARV IS… Bookmark and Share

It’s apparently a big deal which song is #1 on the UK singles chart on Christmas Day. A Facebook group has been launched by fans Michael Hall and Darcie Molina to help get a 13-year-old solo protest song by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, “Running the World,” into the #1 spot in response to last week’s British election results, in which Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won in a landslide, in large part because of Brexit. The full title of the song is “Cunts Are Still Running the World” and it’s perhaps even more relevant now than when it was released in 2006 in the time of President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. It was one of best protest songs of the era with a chorus that went: “If you thought things had changed/Friend, you’d better think again/Bluntly put, in the fewest of words: Cunts are still running the world.”

The Conservatives are not traditionally supported by British indie musicians and others in the arts, who tend to be more left-leaning. If the song gets enough official streams or downloads in the UK then it does have a shot of making it to #1 or at least re-entering the charts. If you’re in the UK then stream it below if you’d like to see this happen.

Cocker’s label, Rough Trade, have confirmed that the musician will donate any proceeds from the song to the British homeless charity Shelter.

“Running the World” was released as a single and then was a bonus hidden track on Jarvis, Cocker’s 2006 solo debut. The song also appeared in the end credits to the acclaimed film Children of Men, which was a dystopian sci-fi film set in a world where everyone was sterile.

It’s been 10 years since Further Complications, Cocker’s second and most recent solo album. Although in 2017 he teamed up with Chilly Gonzales for a collaborative concept album, Room 29, inspired by room 29 in the iconic Hollywood hotel Château Marmont, which has had many famous guests (the hotel opened in 1929). In 2017 Cocker also guested on “Century,” the standout track on Feist‘s last album, Pleasure, and teamed up with Iggy Pop to cover the Nick Cave classic “Red Right Hand” for the TV show Peaky Blinders.

In May of this year Cocker shared a new song, “MUST I EVOLVE,” under the band name JARV IS. The band also features Serafina Steer, Emma Smith, Andrew McKinney, Jason Buckle, and Adam Betts and have been playing shows since late 2017, including ones in caverns and at last year’s Desert Daze festival in California. It was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our 2017 print magazine article on Cocker and Gonzales’ Room 29.

Read our 2017 extended Q&A with Cocker on Room 29.

Read our 2009 cover story interview with Cocker on Further Complications.

Read our 2007 interview with Cocker on Jarvis.

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